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Boomers Embrace Altruistic Encore Careers

As baby boomers head into their 50s and 60s, they're not retiring; instead, many are focusing on altruistic encore careers that blend pay and social purpose. Indeed, about 9 million people between the ages of 44 and 70 have already embraced a "second or third act" in their career history that strengthens their communities. What factors are driving this shift?

Some 31 million people hope to find an encore career, according to 2011 research by Encore.org. These boomers' motivations are as varied as their backgrounds: layoffs, longevity, finances and modern culture are just some of the reasons boomers are heading back to the workplace. "This trend has the potential to be a new social norm much the way that the dream of the golden years, of a leisure-based retirement, was an aspiration for the generation before," said Marci Alboher, vice president of Encore.org, to the AP.

Alboher encourages those who are considering an encore career to think about their interests and give themselves the freedom to dream. In her forthcoming book "The Encore Career Handbook," she offers some compelling questions to shape this brainstorming session. "What would you want to do if you weren't doing what you've been doing for the last 20 or 30 years? What issues matter enough that you would want to volunteer your time or talents if you knew you could make a difference?"

Boomers, have you considered an encore career?

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(Photo credit: City of Marietta, GA/Flickr)

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